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Countdown to Trail Wood

July 4, 2020

It is nearly here…my very first writing residency. I will report to Trail Wood  this Sunday morning, and it will become my temporary home until the following Saturday.  It is a first for me.  I am nearly ready–I have selected the incomplete works I want to focus upon, brought plenty of paper for new works,  and of course, selected the music I want to write to (essential to my process).

What follows is the artist statement I sent in with my application, which should give you an idea of how I will be using the time…

Teale Beaver Pond

As a child, the beginning of the summer meant something more to me than simply the end of the school year.  It meant I was going to spend the summer with my grandfather.  A few days after the final bell I would be in a car or plane headed from my suburban San Diego home to the distant reaches of Duck Valley, Nevada.  My grandfather lived there on the Western Shoshone reservation, a proud tribal elder.  Living with him was like being transported to another world.   Of the many things he taught me was how to be an “Indian”–to live “En Dios,” to live “With God.”  His interpretation of this meant to live with nature.

Through his tutelage, I began to understand that truly living with nature didn’t simply mean the science of living in harmony with the environment.  It also implied the concepts of respect for land rights, spiritual practice, and a sense one oneness with the sacred. If any of these were denied to a group of people, there could be no true stewardship.  This notion is not only key to understanding the Native relationship with ecology; I think it is a key component for anyone striving to understand their role in the natural world.

It is my plan to explore my grandfather’s teachings at my stay in Trail Wood.  Being immersed in that environment and reflecting on the works of Edwin Way Teale have reminded me so much of the discussions my grandfather and I once shared.  The writings I have submitted are the beginnings of a book that will share the lessons of nature and life I absorbed from my grandfather.  The book will contain poetry, prose pieces, and journal entries about both the human relationship with ecology and a boy’s affection for his grandfather.

So now I have to do it.  I’m excited to see what happens.

Note: Trail Wood, by design, lacks any internet or wi-fi connection, so you will not hear from me until I return.  I expect to write daily journal entries of my experiences, but they will actually appear in this blog the following week.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dennis Brezina permalink
    July 4, 2020 9:06 pm

    Good luck, Kevn — Dennis

  2. jennifer dhyana permalink
    July 27, 2020 1:15 pm

    I’m so excited to hear about this Kevin! Thank you for such beautiful sharing of your relationship with your grandfather.

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